Neurology deals with the structural and functional diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system.
Neurology is a field which deals with the organic diseases of the central (the brain and the spinal cord) and the peripheral nervous system. The scope of this specialty includes the examination and treatment of diseases of the brain, the spinal cord, the peripheral nerves and their neuromuscular junctions. A neurology specialist diagnoses and treats neurological disorders. The most common complaints includes headaches, dizziness, memory disorders, numbness, physical coordination disorders and loss of consciousness. Damage of the nervous system is often not an individual disease, but a complication secondary to the dysfunction of other systems. Treatment of Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy also belong to the field of neurology.
Symptoms of neurological problems are diverse, and often seem to be ordinary. However, in case of chronic symptoms such as frequent headaches, patients are recommended to visit a specialist.
The following symptoms may be signs of neurological diseases:
The specialist asks the patient about his/her medical history and current complaints in detail, which is followed by a basic physical neurological examination. The neurologist checks the patient’s mental state, the function, coordination, reflexes and perception of the of cranial nerves. The examination takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes.
The neurologist helps in the steps of establishing a diagnosis and offering a therapy, and he/she may also request diagnostic imaging examinations for a more accurate diagnosis. Skull CT or MRI examination, as well as Doppler ultrasound examination might be needed. If needed, the neurologist refers the patient to another specialty for further examinations, for example to an internal medicine, pulmonology or psychiatry specialist.